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“You cannot run from death my child”

Sometimes it happened, even on a hot summer’s day,
my mother would suddenly shiver, clasp her shoulders
within her palms, her arms folded across her chest.

It was one second's wave of cold, then passed at once.
When it happened, she would say, "death touched me".
It was always without alarm, fear, or tragic overtones,

I remember it well. Since I took mother’s saying literally,
I was also without any fear, or any state of alarm in me,
I would look behind my mother, but could not see death.

I knew, from books, death is a skeleton that’s wrapped
in a long cloak and has a scythe resting on her shoulder.
She moved among people taking lives in a clean sweep.

When my baby sister died young I asked what happened.
Death took her, said my mother. I asked my mother, is she
a woman with a cape hiding her face, holding a scythe,

what does she do with it? "She cuts down people's lives
as blades of grass. Only the dying can see her face.” “But
ma, how you saw death?" “I saw death in Hameleh’s eyes.”

Death will not take me away, I said. Hameleh was a baby
and could not run away. I now know how she looks, I'm
going to run and hide from her when she comes for me.

Editing stage: 


Thank you Mark, I tried to kept it matter of fact.


The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

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